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116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers

The 116th Congress is making history with a record number of women and many lawmakers breaking racial and religious barriers.

The numbers of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American lawmakers are at new highs, as is the number of lawmakers who are openly LGBT. The new Congress also includes a number of historic firsts, including the first Muslim women and first Native American women to serve.

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The differences between the two parties, though, are stark, with most of the women and an overwhelming number of minority lawmakers on the Democratic side.

Here’s a breakdown of the voting members of the 116th Congress.

Women

The number of women in Congress is at a record high at 127, up from 110 in the last session.

A quarter of the Senate is now female. Of those 25 senators, 17 are Democrats and 8 are Republicans. In the House, there are 102 female lawmakers, with 89 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

The midterms also brought a wave of historic firsts, with Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' Pelosi faces caucus divisions in Biden era Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.) and Jahana HayesJahana HayesIt's time to secure our digital sidewalks Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Conn.) becoming the first African-American women to represent their states in Congress. Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations MORE (D-Minn.) became the first Somali-American to serve, and with Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-Mich.), was among the first Muslim women. Reps. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarMaloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' Hispanic Caucus endorses Cárdenas to lead DCCC Progressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' MORE (D) and Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaKatherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Texas social workers drop nondiscrimination rules for LGBTQ, disabilities MORE (D) also made history as Texas’s first Latina lawmakers. In California, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington, women hold both Senate seats.

African-Americans

The new Congress is set to have 55 African-American lawmakers in the House and Senate, up from 49 in the previous term.

Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodLeadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns Trump's cyber firing stirs outrage Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg and Dorsey return for another hearing | House passes 5G funding bill | Twitter introduces 'fleets' MORE (D-Ill.) became the youngest black woman elected to Congress at age 32.

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According to Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairwoman Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Pressure grows on California governor to name Harris replacement MORE (D-Calif.), the CBC will also have a record number of members at 55, including two nonvoting delegates.

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHouse Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members Democrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities MORE (R-Texas) will be the only black Republican in the House. In the upper chamber, there are three African-Americans: Democratic Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Biden can rebuild trust in our justice system by prioritizing prosecutorial reform Harris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence MORE (Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE (N.J.), and Republican Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (S.C.)

Hispanics

Congress boasts a record number of Hispanic lawmakers in the current term, at 45.

The total includes 41 in the House and four senators.

The star of the freshman class is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-N.Y.), who has quickly become a progressive icon.

Escobar and Garcia made history as the first Hispanic women elected to Congress from Texas. Rep. Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanEthics panel finds Massachusetts Democrat didn't violate rules Democrats on House Armed Services panel 'dismayed and gravely concerned' with Esper The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Pfizer's Mikael Dolsten says vaccine development timeline being cut in half; House poised to pass 4 billion relief package MORE (D-Mass.) is the first Portuguese-American woman to be elected to Congress.

The 116th Congress is set to have the largest Congressional Hispanic Caucus in history as it grows to 39 members, including 4 nonvoting members.

Asian-Americans

A record number of 17 Asian-Americans will be serving in this Congress, with 14 in the House and three in the Senate.

Among the notable firsts is Rep. Andy Kim (D), who became the first Asian-American ever elected to Congress from New Jersey. 

According to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Kim and Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.) bring the total number of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to a historic 20 members. That number includes three nonvoting delegates.

LGBT

The number of LGBT lawmakers is up to 10 from seven. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joins Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Next Congress expected to have record diversity Infrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs MORE (D-Wis.) in the Senate as the second openly LGBT member of the chamber.

In the House, there are four new LGBT members: Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats push Biden to pick Haaland as next Interior secretary | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations House Democrats push Biden to pick Haaland as next Interior secretary US is far from gender balance in politics despite record year for women candidates MORE (D-Kan.), Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillKatie Hill to launch 'Naked Politics' podcast Katie Hill claims hackers used government account to accuse her of 'workplace abuse' Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta endorses California Democratic House challenger MORE (D-Calif.) and Chris PappasChristopher (Chris) Charles PappasPappas fends off challenge from ex-Trump official in NH Centrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote Trump-backed candidate wins NH GOP primary to take on Pappas MORE (D-N.H.).

More religious diversity

Overwhelmingly, most members of Congress identify as Christian, but there are some notable exceptions.

Tlaib and Omar became the first two Muslim women to win seats in the House. They join André Carson (D-Ind.) and bring the total number of Muslims in Congress to three. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonProgressives unveil Biden Cabinet wish list Officers involved with George Floyd killing will stand trial together in Minneapolis, judge decides Trump lashes out at state officials over virus restrictions at Minnesota rally MORE, who is also Muslim, left Congress to serve as Minnesota attorney general.

The number of Jewish lawmakers in Congress rose from 30 to 34, with 26 in the House and 8 in the Senate. Only two are Republicans — Reps. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day House GOP celebrates unexpected gains MORE (N.Y.) and David KustoffDavid Frank KustoffLobbying world Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure MORE (Tenn.)

Three members of the House identify as Hindu, all of whom were reelected in November.

The 116th Congress will have two Buddhists, with Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (D-Hawaii) in the Senate and Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs Lawmakers, public bid farewell to John Lewis MORE (D-Ga.) in the House.

Veterans

The 116th Congress includes 96 veterans, down six from the last Congress. There are 77 serving in the House and 19 in the Senate.

While the overall number is down, there are a record number of female former service members. Seven female veterans will serve in Congress, including Sens. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Trump orders troop drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq | Key Republicans call Trump plan a 'mistake' Top Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Another Defense official resigns | Pentagon chief says military 'remains strong' despite purge | Top contender for Biden DOD secretary would be historic pick MORE (D-Ill.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' MORE (R-Iowa) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump nominee's long road to Fed may be dead end McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol McSally's final floor speech: 'I gave it my all, and I left it all on the field' MORE (R-Ariz.) in the upper chamber and Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Overnight Defense: Armed Services chairman unsold on slashing defense budget | Democratic Senate report details 'damage, chaos' of Trump foreign policy | Administration approves .8B Taiwan arms sales Democratic House chairman trusts Pentagon won't follow 'unlawful orders' on election involvement MORE (D-N.J.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaChamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night Overnight Defense: How members of the Armed Services committees fared in Tuesday's elections | Military ballots among those uncounted in too-close-to-call presidential race | Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19 Luria holds onto Virginia House seat MORE (D-Va.) in the House.